If you’ve ever looked at another entrepreneur and wondered how she manages to get it all done, the answer might surprise you.
She’s got good systems.
It’s true. The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day. Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.
No matter what business you’re in and what projects you find yourself tackling, a systemized approach will help you:
- Work faster and produce more
- Produce higher quality results with fewer mistakes
- Easily outsource the tasks you don’t like to do
The Magic of Templates
How many times do you answer email from potential clients? What about responding to customer complaints? Or mailing your JV partners about an upcoming launch?
All of these tasks and more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be repurposed for specific cases/people. Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” in your email client or help desk, or you can use software such as Text Expander (for Mac) or Phrase Express (for Windows). You might even create a template document in Dropbox or Google Drive to house all your templates for easier access.
While templates will undoubtedly save you time, the real beauty is that once they’re created, you can easily outsource things like email and even sales. Simply instruct your assistant on the proper use of your templates, and you’ll be free to do other, more important things.
Checklists Prevent Mistakes
It might seem counterintuitive, but when you perform the same tasks over and over again, it’s easy to miss a critical step. You might think you paid your affiliates this month—you might even remember doing it—only to look back and see it was never completed.
But when you implement checklists, it’s suddenly much more difficult to miss an important task.
You can easily create checklists for all your common tasks and projects using nothing more than a text document. If you’re managing a team, checklists in your project management system allow you to see exactly what tasks are complete, and which are still outstanding.
Templates and checklists turn smart business owners into productivity superstars, and it’s easy to get started. The next time you answer an email you’ve answered before, save your response. The next time you set up a new product in your shopping cart or create a new opt-in page, take the time to record the steps. These documents will make future projects easier and faster to complete, and best of all, you can hand them off to your assistant to do instead.
For a business owner with a solid funnel in place, it’s easy to take a look at the number of subscribers at each level of the funnel and predict pretty accurately what the sales are going to be from day to day or week to week.
If you’ve got a funnel in place, though, and your numbers aren’t looking great, chances are you have a leak somewhere. Your funnel has a hole (or two or three) where subscribers are falling through. There are four common causes for funnel leaks, and once you spot them, they’re pretty easy to fix.
Not enough traffic. The very heart of your sales funnel is the traffic you bring in. Without visitors to your blog or opt-in pages, you’ll have no subscribers. Without subscribers, you’ll have no (or very few) sales. Without sales, you’ll have no business. Yet this is where a lot of people struggle. How can you get more eyes on your content and more subscribers into your funnel?
How to fix it: Traffic generation is an entire industry of its own, but here are some tips: Use good SEO to encourage search engines to rank your content well. Be present and active in the places where your ideal reader hangs out, whether that’s on social media, in niche forums, or at live events. Use paid ads to drive targeted traffic to highly relevant pages. Recruit JV partners and affiliates to promote your offers. Buy solo ads in related email newsletters.
No follow-up. This is a leaky funnel mistake that a lot of new entrepreneurs make. They spend a lot of time and energy setting up a great squeeze page and driving traffic to it, then they deliver the goods to their subscribers, and then…nothing. No follow-up emails. No offers to buy more. No related services or products. Nothing.
How to fix it: Before you spend time building that opt-in page or offer, be sure you have a back-end to promote, or those subscribers you so carefully collected will end up costing you money instead of earning it back.
No call-to-action. This happens most typically at the top of the funnel. Your blog posts, social media content, podcasts, YouTube videos—everything you offer for free—must have some kind of call-to-action, or it’s all just wasted energy. Your call-to-action can be as simple as “Subscribe to my YouTube channel” or “Follow me on Facebook for more tips,” but it must be there.
How to fix it: Every time you write a blog post or an email, as yourself, “What do I want my readers to do when they’re done reading/listening/watching this?” That becomes your call to action.
No product offers. When you’re just starting out, this can be a problem. You know you need to be building a mailing list, but with nothing to offer them, what’s the point? The truth is, there are lots of ways to make money in your funnel even if you don’t have a product to sell.
How to fix it: Promote affiliate offers. No matter what industry you’re in, there are a variety of tools and products your readers need. Find those tools, sign up for the affiliate programs, and recommend them to your readers. Not only will your readers thank you for pointing them in the right direction, but you’ll earn a little cash, too.
Got a leaky funnel? With a few tweaks and some attention paid to your follow-up sequences, chances are you can fix those holes and increase your profits in no time.
Your readers have short attention spans.
I’m sure that’s no big surprise to you. In fact, you probably browse the Internet at light speed, too, scanning titles and subheads, skipping to the bottoms of sales pages, and fast-forwarding through videos just so you can get to the next thing.
The same is true for your readers, and if you want to capture their attention long enough to entice them to opt-in to your mailing list, then you have to keep that in mind.
A Tip From Newspaper Publishers
Have you ever noticed that everything you need to know about a news story is in the first paragraph? Journalists are trained to answer all the questions—who, what, where, when, why and how—in the first few sentences, just in case the story gets cut off when the paper goes to print.
In today’s online world, where column inches no longer matter, this type of story formatting isn’t quite so critical anymore, but it’s still a useful tip to use when you’re writing an opt-in page.
Think about it: If your readers are skimmers (as most of us are) then making sure you include the most important information right at the top of the page is going to greatly improve your conversion rates.
For opt-in pages, that means putting the biggest benefits in your subject line and following it up with two or three sentences that build on your headline. That’s it. Keep it short, sweet, and benefit-driven, and you’ll have greater success than you would with longer content.
Whether your opt-in incentive is an eBook, a video, or even a simple checklist, having a graphic representation of your offer is an important component of your landing page.
Typically, you’ll create (or have created) a digital book or CD cover. You can easily outsource this, but be sure you follow these strategies:
- Bold fonts and short titles make your cover more readable.
- Use high-contrast colors for more visibility.
- Be true to your brand. Stick with colors and fonts your readers expect.
Crafting a Compelling Call to Action
While it seems as if you can expect readers to know what to do when they land on your opt-in page, it’s just not true. You have to invite them to take the next step. Give them specific instructions and you’ll have higher conversion rates than if you just leave it to chance.
Your call to action should tell a reader exactly what to do, like this:
- Click here to download
- Enter your name and email for instant access
Watch the text on your form buttons, too. After all, “Subscribe” or “Sign Up” doesn’t exactly make you feel excited, does it? Consider using a phrase that matches your call to action instead, such as:
- Get the Checklist!
- Send the Video!
Take a look at your opt-in pages. Do they follow these strategies? If not, consider making some changes to your copy, your images, and your calls to action, then watch your results. You’ll more than likely see a boost in conversion rates if you do.
Confused about how exactly sales funnels work? You’re not alone. In fact, that’s the number one reason small business owners say they can’t get their funnels set up—they simply don’t know what to include where.
Here’s the easy answer: At the very least, your sales funnel needs three pages.
This one obviously comes first. You might call it a landing page, or in the case of a free opt-in, a squeeze page. It serves one purpose—to get the reader to take action. Whether that’s to buy a product or offer up their email address in exchange for a free gift, this is the gateway into your funnel. Everything that follows depends on this page, so you want to be sure you:
Include a clear call to action—“Buy Now” or “Click here to download this report for free”
Eliminate distractions—that means no links to other websites or even a navigation bar
Address the readers’ pain points and how your offer provides the solution
Here’s where we ask the reader to confirm their intent. For a sales funnel, this confirmation page might actually be your checkout page. It’s where they enter their payment details. For a free offer, it’s simply the page your email management system directs them to next. It’s a holding page, if you will, while you wait for them to confirm their email address.
If you’re setting up a free funnel, this page has great power—and you don’t want to waste it!
Here is where you can offer an upsell, remind people to follow you on social media, and give them a peek at your other products and services.
Remember, though, that they will only see this page once, so don’t put anything here that they will need to refer back to. That’s what the thank you page is for.
Thank You Page
This is where they actually collect their downloadable items or get information about how your product will be delivered.
Like the confirmation page, this is valuable real estate, so you want to be sure you use it wisely. In addition to the downloadable item your customer just purchased (or opted in for) you also want to showcase your other offers—especially those at a slightly higher price point. Here’s why: the person looking at this page is a hot prospect. He or she is in a buying mood. You want to be sure to take advantage of that by putting your most relevant offers on this page. To encourage buying, consider including:
A limited time offer—scarcity sells, so if you can legitimately limit sales to a few hours/days or number of units, then this is the place to do so.
A “no brainer” coupon offer—an insider’s only deal can be a powerful motivator, especially if it’s a fantastic price.
Extra bonuses—give them access to additional products/services if they buy through your link on that page. These should be bonuses that aren’t advertised on the public sales page for that product. Again—insider’s deals are motivating!
Putting together a sales funnel isn’t complicated—or at least it doesn’t have to be. As your business grows and you have more products to offer, you can expand your funnel to include more upsells and downsells, but for now, this simple setup is really all you need.
If a website has a high bounce rate, it is counted as a negative factor instead of a positive one. It means that people do visit the website but do not spend consistent time. This usually happens when there is lacking in one or many areas. Weak content is a major reason in this case. Serious visitors are conscious about the content they read particularly the information on the home page. At times, the content is not well researched or up to date. Having the right combination of keywords may attract visitors but this doesn’t last long. Once the users visit the website and figure out that there is nothing innovative in terms of content, quick exits will be made. As a result, the bounce rate of the website would be on the rise.
Providing readable content is essential
How can a website retain a visitor? Quality content is very important for maintaining a good rate of traffic. If people visit a website regularly, they would develop an interest in purchasing products / offered services. The readability level of content describes the flow and smoothness. It is important to refresh the information on web pages from time to time but this does not mean that junk content should be published. If there is no sequence between sentences and consequent paragraphs, readers would get bored and discontinue reading. A good tip to deal with this situation is checking the content readability before publishing it. This gives a clear idea about whether readers would be convinced about going through the provided information or not.
Searching for a quality readability checker is mandatory
Trusting a readability checker randomly is a big mistake. A lot of applications do not have properly programmed algorithms. As a result, the readability score is more of an estimate than an accurate calculation. There is always a question mark on the credibility of an application if a lot of people are not using it. A low user count gives the impression that either the tool is flawed or relatively new. In both cases, users can end up with incorrect results.
- Checking the user count is a good way to check the credibility level. If a readability checker is being used by several people, there is no need to search any further. However, it has to be ensured that the application does not have negative feedback on a major scale. It is obvious that every user may not have a positive experience with the tool but if most users are dissatisfied, there may be serious performance/reliability issues. In a nutshell, do not be hasty while opting for a tool. Take your time and view all important parameters before making the final choice.
- At times, when users are searching for these tools, they only consider free options and ignore everything else. It is not necessary that a free tool may be reliable as well. Similarly, there is no assurance that a paid one would deliver accurate results. Quality is an important factor and it should never be ignored. There is nothing wrong about opting for a free readability checking application if it is actually worth it.
Readability decides the interest level
Why do people lose interest in the written content? Lack of readability is one of the major reasons. Some blog writers only aim at completing the count of words. The quality factor is simply ignored. If content does not develop interest, the reader would not be encouraged to spend time on reading it. Hence, when it comes to getting a good response through a blog, readability matters a lot. It is important as well as helpful to check the readability score beforehand so that you have a clear idea about the response. There are proper tools available online to determine the content score.
Using a readability checker – steps used
Here are the steps you have to follow to determine the readability of content
Stage of content uploading
The first thing you have to do is upload the content. Most tools provide support for direct uploading of the file. If the content file has the PDF, TXT or DOC format, it can be directly uploaded. Writers do not have to select the text, copy it and paste it in the text box. However, one of the two options can be used.
Checking output in terms of readability
A good readability checker generates a complete report related to the uploaded content. For instance, you can know about the densities of prominent keywords used in the content. Similarly, the readability report will total number of sentences, characters per word and other related information. If there are any problems, you can make changes to the appropriate area. For instance, over usage of a particular word reduces the level of readability. The report would show the frequency of all keywords used. If the density is higher than normal, reduce the usage of the related word to produce readable content.
Quality readable content reduces the bounce rate
As it has been mentioned above, having a high bounce rate is a negative aspect of the reputation of a website. When related fresh content would be updated on a website from time to time, more people would pay consistent visits. As a result, the bounce rate of the website would be on the lower side.
What is the key difference between successful online brands and the ones which fail to deliver? Top-rated online sellers make every effort to engage and communicate with their buyers. This is done by delivering readable content every now and then. Let us consider a short example to see how readable content makes a quantifiable difference. Consider that a visitor browses a web page on a weekly basis. After three weeks, he witnesses that there is nothing new to offer in terms of content. This would give him the impression that the brand is concerned more about generating sales and not communicating with the customer. As a result, he would stop visiting the website. When a considerable sum of people would adopt the same approach, the bounce rate would increase.
If you’re a business owner or blogger then you probably know what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is & why it’s important to the success of your website. It doesn’t have to be so mysterious. You can put a plan in place to improve not only your SEO but also your pageviews and your Domain Authority (DA).
What is Domain Authority (DA)
DA is a search engine ranking score developed by MOZ that predicts how well a website will rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). They range from 1 to 100 the higher the number the greater the ability to rank. Want to check yours? Go here!
So, how can you improve all of these things? Well, I’m about to drop some knowledge on you!
5 Tips To Improve Your SEO, DA & increase traffic and pageviews
Page freshness –
Dates do matter and it’s beginning to count for even more. I’m sure that you’ve searched for something started reading about it only to find out that what your reading was from a decade ago and is no longer relevant. It drives me crazy & Google doesn’t like it either. I include the date in my breadcrumbs at the top of every post.
In layman’s terms, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.
These type of links are useful for three reasons:
- They allow users to navigate a website.
- They help establish information hierarchy for the given website.
- They help spread link equity (ranking power) around websites.
- Use keywords in your titles.
- Use the year in the title (also signals freshness).
- Use a headline analyzer tool like this FREE ONE!
Use Post Hierarchy
- Make content easy to read by breaking the text up into small chunks. Short sentences, short paragraphs.
- Use the <H1>-<H6> tags purposefully. Break up large chunks of text with bold and italics to make it even easier to read.
Filling Out Your Yoast Keyword Block Completely-
Filling out the keyword block completely on every single post with your Yoast plugin is the best thing you can do to build a good SEO strategy. Depending on your theme it can look differently from site to site. I have a couple of examples here:
This first one from my Wandering Web Designer website and on here it asks for my “FOCUS KEYPHRASE“. For this post, it was 101 Travel Tips.
In this example, I edit the snippet which is the small amount of context that shows when you share on social media and search pages.
Either way, this should be filled out completely. On both examples, you can also turn on “Cornerstone Content” which are posts that are your core messages. It consists of the best, most important articles on your site; the pages or posts you want to rank highest in the search engines. … Cornerstone content can be either a blog post or a page.
With a little bit of planning and a couple of extra steps, you can create your own SEO plan.